The drip coffee maker for the person who wants a GOOD cup of joe.
Positive Product Points
Small, attractive, makes very good coffee.
Negative Product Points
None so far.
OK, here is my new extremely researched small appliance that I added to my home. The Kitchen Aid 4 cup ultra coffee maker. After finding three recommendations by real coffee afficianados (who won't touch most drip makers made in the U.S.A) I can recommend this as well for making a really, really, good cup of coffee. Small, so it makes about two mugs, but most of us don't really need a whole 12 cup pot and hey, it's quick just make another. It truly does make a good cup. Apparently this is because it has dual heating elements and actually heats the water to the 195-200 degree heat needed to really release the correct flavor of your carefully ground ambrosia nuggets. I couldn't believe it!
They tell me that the grind is the other really important part and the whirly blade grinders make too big of a variety in the grind for good results, but if you don't have a burr grinder (like me...yet) I discovered that to help you get more uniform grounds, put a few more beans in than you will need and after you grind your coffee (15 seconds for drip) put it into a yogurt strainer (3 bucks at your local kitchen specialty store) and keep tapping. The little dust falls out, the smallest ground go to the bottom. Scoop from the yogurt strainer. The more evenly ground pieces are at the top (some physics thing I figure).
I can now make better regular coffee than I can get in any coffee shop. I still cannot, and probably will not attempt espresso at home (too much equipment needed for a really good shot) but I really don't care. Now that I can make a good cup of coffee myself, I am less prone to going and getting a latte at my favorite shop so often. The ultra is only around 30 US dollars. A great investment if coffee is precious to you :)